Clove Necklace

A grid image. The left side has a mannequin with a white blouse. There is a large necklace with green and blue beads as well as coins. On the right there are close ups of the necklace.
Clove necklace from the Eldon House collection

Country of Origin: Palestine
Year: ca. 1897
Materials: Cloves, glass, brass, and fabric 

Cloves have been used globally for centuries as a spice, but also as jewelry. In Hindu belief systems, cloves can be used as a symbol of luck and used to ward off evil spirits, in the Middle East and North Africa, cloves are used to ward of bad spirits and leave a fragrance. This piece is a Palestinian bridal necklace.

Traditionally, these necklaces would be made by soaking the cloves making them easier to manipulate. They would be strung with beads and coins, and the clove water would become part of a bathing ritual. These pieces were usually made by female relatives. Other traditions state that the father of the bride would pay for clove necklaces for female relatives and friends of the bride to signify their bond with the bride. This piece was purchased by the Harris Family on their trip to Palestine in 1897.